Department Of Social Development S.A, The mission of the Department of Social Development is to enable the poor, the vulnerable and the excluded within South African society to secure a better life for themselves, in partnership with them and with all those who are committed to building a caring society.
The Department has the following primary core functions: management and oversight over social security, encompassing social assistance and social insurance policies, which aim to prevent and alleviate poverty in the event of life cycle risks such as loss of income due to unemployment, disability, old age or death occurring; and developmental social welfare services, which provide support to reduce poverty, vulnerability and the impact of HIV/AIDS through sustainable development programmes, in partnership with implementing agents such as State-Funded Institutions, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) and Faith-Based Organisations (FBOs).
The Department of Social Development is mandated by the Constitution to provide social protection and welfare services to vulnerable individuals, groups and communities. Women, children, older persons and persons with disabilities form part of the core focus areas for the Department.
The strategic pillar 6 of the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (WPRPD) which is overseen by the Department of Social Development and was approved by Cabinet in 2015, advocates for strengthening the representative voice of persons with disabilities, particularly the under-represented groups whose voices are not heard on existing platforms.
One such voice is that of persons with dyslexia, a general term that describes difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols, but does not affect general intelligence.
Dyslexia is the most common form of learning difficulty and affects at least 10 percent of the population. The condition falls within the broader category of ‘invisible’ disabilities as it is not obvious or easily identifiable.
In line with strategic pillar 6, the Department of Social Development in partnership with the MTN SA Foundation and Samsung will, on 01 March, be launching a specialised 22-seater multimedia centre for children with dyslexia at the Tlhokomelo Special School in Meadowlands, Soweto – Gauteng.
This is the first computer centre of its calibre in South Africa. This launch happens on the backdrop of the events of August 2018, when the Deputy Minister of Social Development, Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, welcomed initiatives spearheaded by the civil society organisations to work towards the launch of the national dyslexia network – the first such organisation in the disability sector in South Africa.
“The need for early identification and recognition of dyslexia in South Africa remains pressing as there is very little understanding and barely any intervention measures for dyslexic learners in our schools.
Awareness of this learning difficulty remains low across the country. We therefore need to generate greater public awareness in order to identify and support persons with dyslexia and their families,” said Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu.
In 2018, the Department of Social Development hosted a strategic planning workshop with 30 young dyslexic activists from across the country with the view to assist them to establish a national network organisation that will advocate for the needs and interest of persons with dyslexia.
Members of the media are invited to attend and cover the specialised centre unveiling scheduled as follows: Date: Friday, 1 March 2019 Time: 10h00 Venue: Tlhokomelo Special School, Modjadji Street, Meadowlands – Soweto ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT Media enquiries may be forwarded to Ms Lumka Oliphant on 083 484 8067 or [email protected]